A section of Arsenal fans around the Emirates always unfurl banners telling Arsene Wenger to leave at the end of the season, and the reason is not far-fetched. The 67 year old is currently on course for his worst league season as Arsenal manager, with the Gunners languishing in sixth place, seemingly out of reach for The Champions League. Wenger has always prided himself in the fact that under his reign, Arsenal have always qualified for the prestigious tournament, yet, whenever they do get there, they only suffer humiliation and degradation by a host of top clubs and even lesser teams alike.
There has been talk of Wenger extending his current deal which ends at the end of this campaign, in fact the best Arsenal odds would be available to you if you feel he is set to walk away but it feels as though the wily old manager only wants to bow out on a high. There is the FA Cup Final against Chelsea to negotiate, and the magic of the Cup means Chelsea are not dead on favorites for the Wembley Clash, and given Wenger’s exemplary record in the competition, another Cup may be finding its way to North London. He has had to shelve questions about his future aside, but Arsenal need their most successful manager to leave this summer for the rebuilding job they are planning, which will enable them reach the zenith of English football, a position they held with aplomb in the earlier part of the new millennium.
For the better part of 20 years, Wenger has reigned supreme at the club. He verifies every decision the club makes, which has made him a near immovable force. Due to his success with the club, he can’t be dispensed with, and the terms of his farewell will be determined by the man himself not the club. Wenger has labeled talk of a “Director of Football” impossible in his time at the club, which has led people to question the future of the club as a personality like that will interface with the manager in the general running of the club on a daily basis. Arsenal are without a league title since the Invincible strolled to the title in 2003/04.
For a club of such stature it is unacceptable and the rise of Chelsea over that period has meant that the top clubs in the Capital are The Blues. Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal’s bitter rivals are also on the up, with a top manager, top players and the biggest club stadium in London means that Arsenal can’t afford to revel in last glories. If Arsenal does win The FA CUP later on in the month, Wenger has the perfect chance to bow out on a high, just as he should have done 2 years ago after winning the Cup. For all his success, Sir Alex Ferguson knew then to retire and bow out like a true champion, with the legendary Scot admitting that he knew that the league will only get tougher with the new blend of top managers coming through.
Wenger will be risking his legacy at Arsenal if he decides to stay till next season. It will be hard for him to leave after 20 years, but it will be the best decision if he wants Arsenal to move forward in this time of scientific, tactics-obsessed football world.